At a debate of Democratic presidential hopefuls in South Carolina, Sanders calls Netanyahu a “reactionary racist.”
By World Israel News Staff
Sen. Bernie Sanders said Tuesday that moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem is “something we would take into consideration,” if he is elected president.
Sanders, currently the front-runner in the early going of the race for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, was responding to a question on the matter at a debate among the candidates which took place in Charleston, South Carolina, ahead of a primary scheduled for Saturday in that state.
The senator also renewed his attack on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling the Israeli leader “a reactionary racist.”
President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 and transferred the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem in May 2018.
“I’m very proud of being Jewish. I actually lived in Israel for some months. But what I happen to believe is that right now, sadly, tragically, in Israel, through Bibi Netanyahu, you have a reactionary racist who is now running that country,” Sanders charged.
The senator’s sharp comments came two days after he accused AIPAC, the leading pro-Israel lobby group in Washington, of allowing for the expression of bigotry.
“The Israeli people have the right to live in peace and security,” Sanders tweeted on Sunday. “So do the Palestinian people. I remain concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights.”
Therefore, said the presidential hopeful, he would not attend next week’s AIPAC annual policy conference.
“Senator Sanders has never attended our conference and that is evident from his outrageous comment,” AIPAC responded. “By engaging in such an odious attack on this mainstream, bipartisan American political event, Senator Sanders is insulting his very own colleagues and the millions of Americans who stand with Israel. Truly shameful.”
On the issue of the location of the U.S. Embassy in Israel, Mike Bloomberg said during Tuesday’s debate: “You can’t move the embassy back. We should not have done it without getting something from the Israeli government, but it was done and you’re going to have to leave it there.”